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Storm Water Runoff

We work hard to eat the right foods because we know the wrong ones will cause both long-term and short-term problems for our bodies.  Our lake needs the same care.  What we put in it has long-term and short-term effects.  

We all enjoy the crystal, clear waters and one can see the snails, rocks, and fish in Keoka.  In order to keep those waters clear, we all need to be diligent about what we put into our lake.


How can we protect our water quality?  It is often the little things that make things go wrong.  When you make your morning coffee the water runs through the grounds and puts the coffee flavor in your mug.  That’s good runoff.

However, runoff can ruin a lake.  When it rains or the snow melts, storm water runs off your roof, driveway, and other hard surfaces.  Along the way to lower elevations, the water picks up various pollutants such as dripped or spilled petroleum products, soil, fertilizer, pesticides, and animal waste and carries them to the nearest ditch, storm drain or stream.  Those pollutants are now on their way into our lakes.  Individually small amounts of pollutants may seem insignificant, but collectively they can add up to create the largest source of pollution to Maine’s waters. 


Here are some of the things you can do to make sure that the water flowing into our lake is as clean as the water going into your coffee:

  • Prevent soil erosion and capture storm water runoff.  Use nature’s own coffee filter - trees, shrubs, and groundcover that intercept and filter runoff.

  • Plant native plants and shrubs.  They are low maintenance and a great way to stop runoff.

  • Direct water from roofs and driveways into a stable vegetated area that allows the dirt to get trapped and the water to soak in.

  • Reduce or eliminate fertilizer use.  Applying too much fertilizer or applying it at the wrong time can create a problem.

  • Maintain your septic system.  Pump your tank every two to three years. 

  • Pick up after pets.  Pet waste should be disposed of in the garbage or a pet waste composter.

  • Protect your outdoor oil tank from leaks and spills.  Ensure that your tank is properly maintained and replaced.

  • Get a LakeSmart evaluation for your property to identify areas of concern.


Look at your property during heavy rains.  How is water getting to the lake?  What can you do to ensure that it is clean when it gets there?  We need everyone to redirect runoff so that we can protect our lake.